The cuffs were glowing, malicious, and ugly. They bound Danny's arms together in front of his chest from wrist to elbow, similar to that of a slave being herded towards imprisonment. Their weight made him slump forward, and he bowed his head waiting while the Guys in White walked forward with their guns pointed at him. He raised two glowing green eyes defiantly, the sirens blaring around them, flood lights hiding the pitch black sky, the flames and flickering lights of the city nothing more than dots. The helicopters drowned out the noise, the reporters and crew men from all the broadcasters in the Jump City looking down as the government boxed Danny in like a wild beast.
"Do not move, ghost," Agent K ordered. Danny looked up and smirked, perfectly hiding the fear in his eyes.
"And here I thought you believed me incapacitated, I'm honored you think so highly of me," he spoke venom dripping from every word.
The man fired a warning shot, scorching the ground at the teen's feet. Danny sneered and flexed his arms preparing to use them to bludgeon the man enough to send him to the hospital.
"You're under arrest."
A snarl built in the halfa's chest, and five blurs appeared around him. Robin's staff pointing at the agent's heart, his cape concealing Danny.
"He's not going anywhere," he answered back, his hands tensing on the staff.
"What are you doing?" Danny whispered vehemently. Robin's back tensed, but he didn't budge.
"Teen Titans, you have no authority over this, leave immediately, or we will be forced to apprehend you," a man informed over the blaring megaphone.
"Go ahead and try," Raven responded. Her magic crackled around her, Cyborg's canon hummed, Starfire's star bolts surged around her, and Beast Boy growled low and gutturally in his chest, ecto-weapon raised, the safety switched off.
"I think you should let me talk to whoever's in charge, Danny Phantom stays with us," Robin snarled, and Agent K took a step back at the lethal tone in the Titan's voice.
"That will be unnecessary," a voice commanded, and the already cramped space became stifling as seven more landed in the clearing. The air felt vacuum thin and the GiW looked shaken, the guy with the megaphone was rambling into his earpiece before he looked directly to the new group and spoke.
"This is our jurisdiction. The League has no business…"
"Actually, we do," Superman interrupted. The hero took a step forward and looked the man dead in the eyes. "Until we've conducted a thorough investigation, Danny Phantom is no longer your problem."
The man swore colorfully, his earpiece erupting, and Danny bristled along with the Titans. Robin took a step forward to the red caped superhero when another caught his eye and waved him off; Danny looked over to him in shock. How could the man be in the shadows when they were surrounded by flood lights? Robin backed off and waited.
"Be on guard," he whispered to the team, and they circled closer. Danny could feel everyone's breath, the brush of Raven's cloak, the smell of Starfire's shampoo, the pounding of BB's heart, and the power in Cyborg's canon. Robin was still standing in front of him, shielding him from view even if the cameras high above could still see him. God, he hated the media so much right now. The agent clicked on the megaphone.
"Very well, Superman, but know this isn't over. All personnel retreat."
As quickly as they came, they left, and Danny felt nothing but boiling rage and worry for his friends, he wasn't sure if these people would be better off. Superman turned and looked to Robin; he smiled trying to offset the tension. No one missed the way Danny coiled, and even he could feel Robin's thundering scowl.
"What are you doing here? Danny is a member of the Teen Titans. You have no right to take him away like some common criminal," he spat, his words were interlaced with venom, and the Kryptonian could almost picture the teen in front of him wearing a black cowl. Batman had trained him well. Wonder Woman stepped forward and Starfire's hands followed her movement.
"Understand chi – Titan, we are not treating Phantom as such, but until we know who and what he is and if he poses a threat, we must take precautions. And as of right now, we are the only ones protecting him from the dissection table," she warned.
Danny felt ice crawl up is spine and jumped when Beast Boy actually snarled.
"That will never happen," he glared at them.
The halfa's heart trembled at the loyalty in his friend's voice making what he was about to say that much harder.
"Guys…let me go."
The Teen Titans whirled around so fast that Danny thought all of them got whiplash, and they seemed to forget the League was even there anymore.
"Are you crazy?" Cy yelled.
"We are not letting you go, Friend."
"Danny, this is not wise."
"You're innocent!" BB yelled waving the gun around causing everyone to flinch a little. Robin was silent though, and when he met Danny's eyes, a look of understanding passed between them. He steeled himself and turned back to Superman before he stepped aside to let the halfa pass. Danny walked forward, and the rest of his friends went slack jawed and stared.
Superman couldn't help but notice how much different the teen was up close. His aura seemed to lack luster from the gauntlets, and dark circles were shadowing his eyes. The man tried to reconcile this teen to the information they'd been receiving about him. Danny looked up to him and glared before going to stand beside him. The other members of the League circled around them, all except one. Superman figured he was going to stay anyway.
"Green Lantern, take us to the station."
The man nodded and raised his ring.
"Wait," Robin stepped forward and never took his eyes off Danny. "I swear to you, you will come back."
Silence. Then, for the first time, a look of relief passed over the teen, and Danny wearily smiled a lop sided grin.
"Sure, I still haven't kicked your butt at Doom yet."
Wonder Woman , Green Arrow, Aquaman, Flash, and the Green Lantern all stared, before Superman gave the signal, and a green shield engulfed them and took to the sky heading for the station in outer space.
Robin waited till the green light disappeared, its hue nothing like the earthly glow of Danny's powers. He whirled around, heading for the Tower.
"Titans, we have work to do."
"And what exactly do you plan to do?" Batman asked studying his apprentice carefully, Robin didn't miss a beat.
"Anything I can."
Raven engulfed them all in her black magic and disappeared, leaving the Dark Knight to ponder everything: all the facts, all the rumors, all the truths and lies; turning he disappeared into the night. It seemed he had work to do as well.